Oliver Stone wants you to understand that Putin is not a bad person. He’s just misunderstood.
The filmmaker and director of ‘Snowden’ recently filmed a series of interviews with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin. He also told ABC that he believed that “the image the West has of him is wrong.”
Stone argued that Putin is only trying to defend what Russia stands for, which is “not about empire or expansion or aggression or a return to the old days.” Stone also accused Americans of not being able to listen to Putin. He said it was important to listen to Putin because “what you see is what you get.”
What did Stone think Putin wants to be respected for? “Sovereignty is a big issue with him,” the filmmaker told ABC. However, just because Putin believes in sovereignty does not mean that he “wants to be dominant” in international politics, in Stone’s opinion. All Putin wants is “the interests of the Russian people to be taken into account.”
For a country in possession of an extensive nuclear arsenal, Russia’s interests are in play in most of the international affairs. How much more attention does Putin want or need?
While Putin may be educated, and may also “sound like a lawyer” in his interviews with Stone, he also put in place a ban on the Jehovah’s Witness community in Russia, because they were an “extremist group”. Labeling a religious community as ‘extremist’ seems reminiscent of the country’s communist days.
However, this opinion is also coming from the same man who told interviewers that Russia won World War II, and that the holocaust was a product of Jewish domination in American media. He also wanted to defend Castro, Chavez, and other controversial tyrants of the modern era by making films about their lives with top Hollywood actors. Should the media play into his dictator-driven ideology and continue to propagate his work? No.